Being in charge of a group of people isn’t easy.
Aside from all the usual things that you need to balance from different personalities and workplace conflicts, to ensuring that work is completed on time, a safety manager has added responsibilities.
Keeping on top of health and safety legislation and regulations, making sure employee’s follow safety procedures and processes in addition to communicating these rules are all part of a safety manager’s role. Like any organisation there are effective managers and less effective managers.
In this week’s blog, we are going to look at 3 things safety managers should avoid doing if they want to create a safe working environment.
#1 Overly Criticise And Fail To Praise
Being critical of an employee is something many managers don’t want to do however it is sometimes necessary to ensure mistakes don’t happen in the future.
The key is to avoid overly criticising on a regular basis and avoid not giving any praise at all. While safety is a vital issue in the workplace, ignoring the good things an employee does in regards to health and safety will cause negative reactions such as demotivation and lapses in concentration which can all lead to accidents. Dish out some praise every now and again for practising good safety.
We touched on a similar subject to this previously when we looked at positive and negative reinforcement as a management strategy.
#2 Passing The Blame
Some safety managers take the credit when a good health and safety record is achieved while blaming employee’s when an incident occurs.
Good leadership is when blame is shared when something goes wrong. For example, this could be admitting that a certain safety aspect wasn’t communicated properly or that certain signs were missed when they should have been picked up on.
Managers shouldn’t necessarily shoulder all the blame if an individual or group of employees are at fault however ‘throwing workers under a bus’ so to speak and exonerating themselves of any responsibility isn’t showing good management skills.
Identifying the cuase of accidents and near misses can help to prevent them in the long run, anyone can be at fault, and often it can stem from management. What’s important is the cause is identified and processes are put in place to prevent reoccurrence.
#3 Failing To Communicate Health And Safety Properly
One of the major reasons as to why health and safety breaches happen at work is because processes and procedures haven’t been communicated properly.
Just because a safety manager mentioned something once in a quick meeting doesn’t mean that it is going to stick in the heads of their staff. Creating a proper health and safety culture is vital and communication is a central part of this.
Going over things again might seem time consuming however it could be the difference between a procedure being followed safely and a fatal accident in the workplace.
Being A Good Health And Safety Manager
Not every accident is avoidable and things happen at work that can be beyond everyone’s control.
That being said, you are required by law to do what is reasonably practicable when it comes to health and safety and avoiding these 3 things will help improve your safety culture, improve staff morale, allow health and safety information to be communicated more effectively and also contribute towards being a good manager overall.
What else do you think makes a good safety manager? Is there anything we have missed? Let us know!